An Honest Review of Catalyst’s Strengths, Limitations and Opportunities

In the ever-evolving landscape of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), leaders who advance DEI are seeking reliable partners to guide them in creating a more inclusive workplace. The good news is that today’s DEI practitioners have more resources than ever before—from workshops to employee resource group support to measurement tools.

Whether your company is investing in, or cutting back from, DEI programs, every leader who touches DEI is under pressure to invest wisely. This review aims to provide you with an honest assessment of Catalyst, a prominent organization dedicated to advancing gender equity and inclusion. Through this analysis, we hope to help you determine if Catalyst aligns with your specific needs and objectives.


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1. Global, Science-Backed DEI Recommendations

DEI is a constantly evolving industry criticized for its lack of standards and consistency. Our rigorous methodology and exacting standards set us apart from many other organizations in the DEI field.

Our global research, events, and insights help businesses make evidence-based decisions to promote gender equality.

Our focus areas include:

  • Gender Partnership: Uncover gender equity gaps and activate solutions by engaging men to co-create an equitable workplace.
  • Internal Culture Drivers: Discover how DEI practitioners and employee resource group (ERG) leaders can drive change from within with ERG tools and resources, employee learning and mentorship, and sponsorship programs.
  • Frontline Employees: Learn how to build a respectful and rewarding workplace that attracts and retains women in frontline roles.
  • Future of Work: From responsible AI to return-to-office policies, we investigate the future of equitable workplaces.
  • Inclusive leadership: Enable leaders to shift cultures with inclusive leadership skills that build healthy team environments.
  • Antiracism: Learn about intersectional experiences, including how racism affects people from marginalized racial and ethnic groups.

As a nonprofit, we reinvest every dollar into our research and amplifying impact. This is non-partisan research you can trust.

2. Leader in Gender Partnership Programming

Catalyst is a global leader in gender partnership research and training. Men Advocating Real Change, or MARC, is a line of research and a multi-faceted suite of transformational programs designed to invite employees at all levels, of all genders to co-create an equitable workplace. MARC embraces the unique responsibility and opportunity of men, alongside colleagues of all genders, to both contribute to and benefit from gender equity.

Unlike traditional DEI trainings, MARC addresses the root causes of gender inequity. The programs inspire and equips employees to take a collaborative approach to workplace gender equity and create a workplace that works for all. As a result, 82% of MARC alumni report feeling confident in their ability to contribute to DEI efforts after going through the programming—jumping to a level that is twice as high when compared with their confidence prior to MARC participation.

3. Comprehensive Equity Research from the Front Line to the Executive Leadership

Catalyst research looks at equity at every level, not just at executive leadership. Our latest research on frontline employees explores and provides solutions for the unique challenges faced by those in non-office work environments.

We track the retention, representation, and pay equity of women in the global workplace from frontline to board-level positions. Through our Catalyst CEO Champions For Change program, we measure the collective progress of companies committed to gender equity against industry standards, creating both accountability and transparency.
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4. Solutions for Every Level of DEI Maturity

We designed our solutions to meet the needs of every organization, regardless of their DEI readiness or maturity. We assess your needs and deliver the right resources and tools at the right time. Throughout your journey, we support you with a hands-on approach and keep you accountable with actionable, measurable frameworks.

5. Tools to Enable Every Agent of Change

Effective diversity, equity, and inclusion requires the education, collaboration, and activation of people across the organization from business leaders and people managers to employees. As a Catalyst Supporter organization, all your employees will have access to our vast library of Catalyst research, tools, and solutions.

When you become a Supporter organization, you unlock all-inclusive access to Catalyst resources, tools, and learnings, with the opportunity to gain additional entry to add-ons such as workshops and events.

Here are a few ways we tailor our resources to match different roles:

  • HR leaders: We help you attract, retain, and upskill diverse talent at all levels.
  • DEI leaders: Stay on top of trending topics and integrate DEI into business strategies.
  • DEI practitioners: We help you build, measure, and improve your DEI programs.
  • ERG leaders: Enhance your DEI knowledge and elevate your ERG programming.
  • Business leaders and managers: Expand your inclusive leadership skills and foster greater innovation, productivity, and talent.
  • Communications professionals: Improve how you communicate DEI as a business imperative and improve your brand reputation.

6. A Hands-On, Supportive Community

Today’s volatile geopolitical world means diversity, equity, and inclusion practitioners are often required to respond to unprecedented moments of change. Catalyst Relationship Managers act as an extension of your DEI or HR team. They help you find the right research and insights to navigate through these challenging times.

We have teams in the US, Canada, and Western Europe, which enables us to support multinational companies. This global presence allows companies to address gender-related issues on an international scale.

Like other DEI communities, the community within Catalyst is tight-knit, dedicated, and supportive. Unlike other DEI communities, however, we offer fact-based DEI insights to guide this community forward.

  • Our Expert Community is a select group of Supporter organizations that achieve collective impact through collaboration and continuous learning.
  • Men Advocating Real Change (MARC) program alumni are gender equity change agents in their organizations and communities.
  • Supporter organizations can also join the Catalyst CEO Champions For Change program and benchmark their pay transparency and gender representation data.
  • Year-round, the Catalyst community connects at roundtables, webinars, and our premier DEI conferences: Catalyst Awards (US) and Catalyst Honours (Canada).
  • Employee Resource Group (ERG) sponsors and leaders convene annually at enERGize, our virtual ERG summit.


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1. People Resources

Although global, Catalyst is a small, but mighty organization. We are embracing digital as a way to scale ourselves, but at times we may require extra planning and prioritization so that we can meet your short-term speaking engagement, workshop, and other resource needs.

2. Custom Research

Each stakeholder wants Catalyst to focus on a wide array of issues. To prioritize research, we use a Political, Economic, Social, and Technological or PEST model to understand what will drive the most impact to the industry at-large.

3.  No Lobbying

Catalyst is a nonprofit organization that works with a range of businesses in distinct stages of their DEI journey. Our approach is to change the workplace through internal influence and objective, non-partisan research. We do not lobby governments for public policy change.

However, our highly charged geopolitical environment sometimes demands statements. During these times, Catalyst aims to be thoughtful in our approach and focus on educating leadership respectfully so that they are motivated to align company actions with the values of DEI.

4. Measurement Frameworks, not Analytics

At Catalyst, we understand how important it is to measure progress. Our Catalyst CEO Champion For Change communities represent DEI advocates, corporations, academics, and CEOs who have pledged to self-report their gender equity metrics. These organizations trust us with their gender representation and pay equity data, which we consolidate and compare against industry standards. In this way, we help organizations track progress and enable them to hold themselves accountable.

Catalyst provides recommendations and tools for DEI practitioners at the beginning of their measurement journey. At this time, we do not offer DEI analytics software to help organizations pull, track, and analyze their DEI metrics.

5. Strategic Enablement, Not Strategy

Companies that donate to us, called Supporter organizations, receive direct access to Relationship Managers, who are entrenched in the DEI industry. These Relationship Managers work to understand your organization’s needs, analyze your DEI maturity, and suggest tools and resources to help you, your team, and your company advance equity on all fronts. Their role is to enable you so you can create a DEI strategy best suited for your organization.



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1. We Are Embracing Digital

In 2022, Catalyst launched a new strategic plan to become a digital-first organization. We are investing in technology that will help us scale our insights and modernize your customer experience. By embracing the most up-to-date technology, we hope to increase our impact and drive progress on gender equity.

2. We are Investing in Our Community

We know that community is more important than ever. Catalyst is investing in a digital platform that will allow DEI practitioners to ask and answer DEI questions immediately and learn and connect more often with their peers. We are also leveling up our in-person and virtual events and producing new, engaging ways to bring together the brightest minds in the industry.



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Like other DEI organizations, Catalyst is not immune to the headwinds facing DEI practitioners today.

Shifts in political climates can have profound effects on the support for diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives. The DEI backlash, coupled with the current economic performance, is causing some companies to pull back on funding. When companies invest less, change takes longer. For companies that want to retain and attract talent in a competitive market, creating equitable workplaces remains critical.

Resistance to diversity and inclusion initiatives is also making it more challenging for DEI practitioners and Catalyst to accelerate change. Overcoming resistance requires skillful navigation, effective communication, and sustained engagement to transform mindsets and behaviors.

The bottom line: Catalyst is a global DEI organization with a tight and supportive community; rigorous, in-house research institute; and best-in-class training and development expertise.

It is the DEI organization of choice for DEI teams looking to upskill their advocates and practitioners and scale their DEI strategy.

Interested in learning more?

Fill out the form below to get started today or explore the benefits on the Become a Supporter page.